Usage Based Billing–Cutting the Cord

Recent changes to how ISP resellers are charged for their use of the connections to Bell and Rogers’ infrastructure, have left a bad taste in the mouth of heavy users. But let us first explain what a heavy user really is.

– During the month of November I watched all my TV through legal sources online. Including the web sites of CTV, Global, CBC and Hulu. All web shows were watched either on YouTube or by an iTunes download. I would say I am a mild user. I watch and listen to about 15 podcasts a month, some are weekly some are monthly. I watch about an hour or 2 of web TV a night, normally the news and what ever primetime show I am interested in. I should mention that during this month we have a Roger’s connection on their Express 10 Mbps, 60GB, which cost a whopping $46.99 plus tax. There are 3 people that share this connection, 1 was away the whole month, and the other the computer was not working, so it was just my use. During this month there was the usual software updates, web browsing and document backups to a cloud storage. Can someone guess what the usage came to? Well it was over 100GB. Which meant we were forced to pay an additional fee of $50 for exceeding our allowed usage. The best part of this, we cannot upgrade to the larger packages as the service is not available in our area.

So what if we watched TV using a cable service instead of an online service. Well to get Basic Cable with the HD option (which this should not be optional anymore) it would be $47.43 plus tax ($53.60). So in total our bill to rogers would be ($46.99 + $4(modem rental) + $47.43) x 13% HST = $111.21. And this is all for base packages nothing special.

I know you are asking why did I go into what the cost of cable is and what the cost of internet is. Well the reason is, that was based on one user. When all three users are using the internet we easily go over 400GB of traffic a month. Now we do use the internet for uploading and do allot of work on cloud sites. But honestly we are only ahead of the curve because of who we are, this type of usage is going to become normal for all users in a few years.

So where am I going with this? Well because of the CRTC ruling; ISPs’ like TekSavvy had to change their pricing scheme to just remain in business.

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Take a look at the table to the left. A service plan which used to offer 200 GB of usage for $31.95 a month has now be crippled to 25 GB, at no price reduction. A 87.5% reduction resulted in no price increase. Actually if you were going to continuing using 200GB you would have to buy the highest possible insurance policy (that is right they are calling them insurance policies) for an additional $55. So a bill which used to cost you $31.95 in February, come March will now cost you $86.95. And that is if you pre purchase the insurance policy, if you do not it will cost you $1.90 per GB, so that would be; again using the 200 GB scenario a total bill of $364.45 for one month of usage.

So at what point do we all stand up and say that an internet connection is an essential service and that the rates need to be monitored? I think that time has come.

I understand that Canada is an unique situation as the land mass makes it very difficult for national ISPs’ to deploy effective coverage and still charge reasonable rates. But with all the grants, one time federal expenditures, and cost sharing between carriers. The cost is not what Bell and Rogers are telling you.

Bell explains that they require to charge higher rates to their resellers’ because of congestion on the network. But what they do not explain to you that resellers’ only use one part of Bell’s infrastructure and then they made their own peering agreements with backhaul providers. So that point is mute.

Everyone should read and sign this petition if you think that UBB – Usage Based Billing is a bad idea.

Links:

Bell’s Original Application
TekSavvy New Rates
OpenMedia

Alberta – Stelmach – Wages

alberta-flag_contourSo everyone knows I am not much of a fan when it comes to the Alberta Conservative Party, but this time I thinks others are going to be on my side.

Last year, MLA’s approved themselves a wage increase of 30%, something no one in the public would ever see from their employer. But now since Stelmach and his government were not able to keep a balanced budget even when the money still flows, they have come up with the brilliant idea that there should be a two year freeze on all wages.

Now I have lived in Alberta and know that it is very expensive, cost of living is through the roof, when a simple duplex home will cost you over 350,000 which is way outside the means of first time home buyer, how is the general public supposed to take the announcement that their provincial government believes that they should actually loose money over the next two years because of the economic slow down.

What you must understand if you do not receive at least a pay increase equal to inflation you will earn less money the next year. For employers that do not provide raises based on at least inflation; you should be ashamed of yourselves.

The moral of the story is Stelmach is incompetent everyone knows this, the problem lies with the fact that there is no other other, the other parties just don’t have the make up to run the province, not that I am saying that the Conservatives do because they have done more harm to that province than good.

Is this Laptop Worth $6,000

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Extreme Quad QX9300 2.53GHz (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows Vista® Ultimate (64-bit Edition) with Service Pack 1
VIDEO CARD Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280M, 2GB – SLI® Enabled
LCD PANEL 17-inch WideUXGA 1920×1200 (1200p)
MEMORY 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
HARD DRIVE 512GB – 2x 256GB Solid State Drive – RAID 0
OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Load Dual Layer Blu-ray Combo

Really who is going to pay all this money for a laptop that is only going to get 30 minutes of battery.

If you are wondering this is Alienware’s new M17x